Imported French stayer Elwaaryaa will make her Australian racing debut in the Advanced Mailing Solutions Handicap (1600m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday and her performance may decide her immediate future.
Elwaaryaa made her racing debut in France in May last year and had seven starts for a victory in a maiden in October last year before she was purchased by owner Robert Harding to serve as a broodmare in Australia.
While the breeding barn will be the major assignment for Elwaaryaa in Australia, Harding has elected to give her the opportunity to impress at the races and her performances in the next month will decide whether she is sent to stud this season or is given another campaign as a racehorse.
“She is one of Robert Harding’s mares that he will be breeding from, purchased by Sheamus Mills from the Arqana Sale in France,” Price told Racing Victoria.
“She was bought to be a broodmare, hopefully with a view to being successful on the racecourse here and get some Australian form.
We’re using the month of August to determine whether we go another year or not.
“It will be interesting to see how she gets around Moonee Valley, but she’s got to start somewhere and I thought this was a suitable race ratings-wise for her to kick off in.”
Elwaaryaa recorded her maiden race win over 1400 metres in France and performed well over 1500 metres in the Prix Du Hamel (1500m) at Deauville on August last year, but Price believes that the Advanced Mailing Solutions Handicap over the Moonee Valley mile may be a bit too short for the rising five-year-old.
“While a mile suits to make her debut in Australia, she works like a mare that wants 2000 metres,” Price said.
Elwaaryya will need to produce an impressive performance to start her Australian racing career with a wing as she will be facing a number of talented gallopers in the Advanced Mailing Solutions Handicap this weekend.
Michael Moroney-trained Devonshire Duke scored an impressive victory at Morphettville at his last start and his trainer rates the Keeper gelding his best bet at Moonee Valley on Saturday, while Count Encosta will be chasing his third straight victory after returning to his best form under the care of leading Victorian trainer Darren Weir.
Elwaaryaa is available at odds of $9 in the Advanced Mailing Solutions Handicap betting market at Ladbrokes Australia; with Digitalism ($4.20) a narrow favourite from Devonshire Duke ($4.60).